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The Yusupov series

Last week’s poll question was: ‘Where are you?’ I offered so many options that an image big enough to make all the results readable would break the internet, so below are just the edited highlights.

Rest of Europe (196 votes, 40%)
North America (72 votes, 14%)
British Isles (61 votes, 12%)
Rest of Asia (57 votes, 11%)
India (49 votes, 10%)

‘Rest of Europe’ was our big winner, which reminds me of an old joke that claims a British newspaper once published a headline: “Fog in English Channel – Continent isolated”. Anyway, we at Quality Chess are very much pro-European, but since we don’t deal with politics on this chess blog, please don’t interpret that as a comment about Brexit.

We also have good numbers here from North America, India and Asia in general. Everyone is welcome, even those from the neglected Caribbean.

In a recent blog post we saw the views of GM Adhiban Baskaran on the Yusupov series. There were nine books in the original series, and then Revision & Exam 1 with more to come we hope. So for this week the poll question is: How many books in the Yusupov series do you own?

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  1. February 20th, 2017 at 17:34 | #1

    I have all 10. I got up to Part I exercise set 20 today. I do between 2-3 sets of problems per (self)training session. Even though the book is aimed at level one(unrated to 1600 I think), there are many things I forgot or know less well than I thought. There are many positions from recent events as well as the relevant parts of studies.

    I really like the whole series. One of the useful features is the allocation on points so you know how deep you are supposed to see as opposed to just the first 1-2 moves, and how many variations that must be considered.

  2. Kassy
    February 20th, 2017 at 17:41 | #2

    I own all 10. I am halfway thru the 3rd orange book. When I do them consistently my performance goes up. When I slack off, it trends down. Admittedly, when I slack of them I slack off chess in general so it’s not fully the books’ credit/fault.

  3. The Doctor
    February 20th, 2017 at 17:41 | #3

    I own the 3 orange ones read all 3, they are great. Don’t really have the time to study the rest ?

  4. jackson
    February 20th, 2017 at 19:50 | #4

    10. I really hope for blue and green Revision and Exams.

  5. Remco G
    February 20th, 2017 at 20:11 | #5

    I’m only in the second orange book, but after some time of neglect I’m speeding up again (I decided to allow myself to do * and ** problems in tactical chapters from the diagram instead of using pieces, makes it take far less time).

    I own five, they’re ideal when ordering another book to get the total over the “no shipping costs” threshold. Eventually I will do them all.

  6. cyberhound
    February 20th, 2017 at 23:23 | #6

    10. I started with the blue ones finished all of them, the first green one and have gotten to the second green chapter 4 so far using the method stated in the beginning.

    A while back I decided to start the orange ones as well with the following twist. I do the orange ones semi blindfold. I use a blank board and visualize the pieces from the book diagrams and then work out the problems without the pieces. This has payed great dividends and improved my visualization when calculating with the pieces on the board. So far I have completed book one in the orange and up to Chapter 7 in in orange book 2.

    Great series, It has improved my play phenomenally. Also hoping for blue & green Revision and Exam.

  7. TonyRo
    February 21st, 2017 at 03:44 | #7

    Ten, all hardback. That is the only way. 😉

  8. Karl
    February 21st, 2017 at 07:27 | #8

    I am somewhere middle of book two of the brown series, but forgot my notes about the test results. So i will start again.

    I own the first seven books.

  9. Ray
    February 21st, 2017 at 07:44 | #9

    I own 9 volumes (and have finished all of them). Volume 10 is definitely on my list of ‘must-buys’…

  10. FredPhil
    February 21st, 2017 at 10:17 | #10

    Something that’s interested me is what those who had completed the 10-set (or relevant part of it) thought in terms of progress.

  11. James2
    February 21st, 2017 at 10:51 | #11


    The comment about pro-European reminded me of an episode of Yes Minister and a comment by Sir Humphrey. I haven’t seen that series for a while, maybe I’ll watch them again from the start. I always thought he was a great character, played so magnificently by Nigel Hawthorne.

    The series weakened when Hacker was made Prime Minister and it went to Yes Prime Minister.



  12. Jonathan Bryant
    February 21st, 2017 at 15:22 | #12

    All 10. Hardback.

    Got them second hand but as new for a very reasonable price. I’m currently only one chapter into book 2 though.

    If I finish all 10 I’ll consider it a major achievement. Hell, just finishing the first one was a big deal.

  13. Ray
    February 21st, 2017 at 17:05 | #13

    To be honest, my rating hasn’t significantly moved since I finished the series, but considering my age, it would have likely decreased if hadn’t studied these books (but it’s impossible to prove of course).

  14. Kassy
    February 21st, 2017 at 17:26 | #14

    To quote myself from another thread:

    I have done book 1 and 2 of the Orange series and am about half way thru book 3. I am 1850 USCF. They are a work-out. I spend 2-3 hrs on a typical chapter and it is an intense concentrating 2-3 hrs.
    During the time I have been going thru them my rating has gone down 90 points but then up 150. Take that for what you will.

  15. pabstars
    February 21st, 2017 at 18:26 | #15

    I have all of the books in hardcover. Last year I bought the first 9 ones using the offer available at QC. I got them in June and finished all 10 in mid-November. I was totally addicted to them and really love the exercises in the books. As already-mentioned, you are forced to calculate a little deeper than in many other books due to his point system. I’m almost 52 years old and started playing chess in 2013 again after a 20-year break. My Danish rating and ELO have never been higher than now. Currently, I’m reading Chess Lessons which is excellent; the book is stuffed with really nasty exercises. After that, I will re-start the Grandmaster Preparation series which was too tough just after my comeback!

  16. Steve
    February 22nd, 2017 at 13:12 | #16

    I hope the next poll question will be “How many books in the Yusupov series have you completed?” The comparison with this poll would be interesting.

  17. February 22nd, 2017 at 13:54 | #17

    I bought them all, have worked diligently through the first five, and am doing Revision & Exam before moving on to book 6 but have mostly been on a break from chess for the last year.

    During the time I worked on the books, my USCF rating went from 1800 (where it had been for a decade) to 2000. Correlation is not causation, and I made other changes to my studying habits during that time as well (such as using spaced repetition), but the books certainly didn’t hurt.

  18. Hard Truther
    February 23rd, 2017 at 17:16 | #18

    Have all. Working through them. On #5.

    Brilliant stuff. As good as Dvoretsky.

  19. Thomas Peterson
    October 18th, 2018 at 14:24 | #19

    Hard Truther, how are your tactics?

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